Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Children with asthma advised to begin using inhalers ahead of new school term

Photo: PA

Parents and carers of children with asthma in Bristol, north Somerset and south Gloucestershire, are being advised to make sure their kids start using their inhalers ahead of their return to school.

Doctors say evidence shows that using inhalers preventatively - before symptoms of wheezing occur - will reduce the risk of becoming unwell.

Parents and guardians are also being warned to be alert for signs that their condition may be deteriorating.

This comes after a charity found that the number of youngsters admitted to hospital "skyrockets" as they go back to school.

Children between the ages of five and 19 across England, Scotland and Wales are 1.7 times more likely to be rushed to hospital following an asthma attack in September compared with August, Asthma UK said.

2,422
children were admitted to hospital because of their asthma in September last year.

The charity said children were at much greater risk of having a potentially fatal asthma attack when they were back in school, due to the increased exposure to triggers such as cold and flu viruses.

Asthma UK is urging parents to spot the warning signs that their child's asthma is getting worse, and to know what to do if their child is having an asthma attack.

It's extremely distressing for any parent to hear that their child has had an asthma attack at school, and exposure to triggers at school can also cause asthma attacks when children get back home.

Parents should not feel afraid to book an urgent appointment with the GP or asthma nurse if their child is: using their reliever inhaler more than three times a week; coughing or wheezing at night; feeling out of breath and struggling to keep up with their friends."

– SONIA MUNDE, HELPLINE HEAD AND NURSE MANAGER, ASTHMA UK

Last year, 2,422 children were admitted to hospital because of their asthma in September compared with 892 in August. The charity said similar increases had been noted in previous years.

For further information can be found on the back to school page on the Asthma UK website or by calling the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800.